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An important characteristic of abuse-prone families has been found to be isolation from supportive ties. This volume encourages programmes and policies to incorporate social support into abuse prevention.
The author delineates the challenges and strategies involved in promoting social support; describes natural and formal social networks; analyzes the social isolation experienced by at-risk families; evaluates the effectiveness of various interventions, such as home visit programmes; and addresses the practical challenges of integrating research, policy and practice. Thompson concludes by suggesting that social support be framed in the larger context of child welfare reform.